The unusual case of U.S. v. Yujing Zhang continues in the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida. On the same day as a well-covered April 8 pre-trial detention hearing, the Defendant filed a number of documents:
- Two (?) passports and a visa;
- Article (translated): “Trump said he is not worried about China’s possible espionage against Haihu Manor“;
- Miami Herald 3/29/19 article, “Trump Tourism: How Charlottesville Enabled Cindy Yang to Market Mar-A-Lago“
- Photos of “Dr. Charles” (Charles Li) with various dignitaries;
- Translated invitation to the Mar A Lago event, “International Leaders Elite Forum” for March 30, 2019;
- Atlantic 10/22/13 article, “The Geographic Distribution of China’s Last Names, in Maps”
What does all of this mean? Read together, and in light of the reporting about what occurred at the April 8 hearing (here and here), the implication is that Zhang is a common name in China (likely going to the alleged confusion at Mar A Lago) and that the Defendant was misled into attending a canceled event.
The articles point to Li and Yang selling access to Trump because (a) Mar A Lago has lower security standards than official events and (b) Yang was using the departure of other seasonal balls to market events at Mar A Lago.
According to the reporting on the April 8 hearing
(here and here), the defendant had a hidden-camera detection device back in her hotel room (she claimed that she was carrying so many devices out of fear of leaving them in the hotel room — however she apparently left $8,000 in the room). We also learned that none of her interviews were audio-recorded.
CNN reports that law enforcement found “a signal detector that can seek out and detect hidden cameras, another cell phone, nine USB drives and five SIM cards.”
Most recent Palm Beach Post article, “Chinese woman paid $20K for Mar-a-Lago event, attorney says,” is here.
UPDATED: Ars Technica comes through with a comprehensive report, here.
It remains unclear what “malicious software” was on the USB drive.
The transcript of the April 8 hearing will be released to the public at the end of the month.
Next hearing is April 15.